All In Favor Of A Dog Park, Please Raise Your Paws
UPDATE: Just saw that the TC Ticker wrote about a Park for Pups today as well. Woof!
Tonight is Traverse City’s monthly parks and recreation commission meeting. Among the topics on the agenda are bayfront updates, budget details,the future for the Spirit of Traverse City (steam train) and possible dog park possibilities. We meet at 6:30 in the commission chambers. Please join us.
Agenda Item: Dog Parks
The last item, the idea of a dog park received attention in Sunday’s Record Eagle, with a recap of regional activity organizing around the idea. Suttons Bay, Garfield Township, Elmwood Township and Traverse City all have seen activity, though none of them have moved very far along. Dog park(s) are in the latest parks and recreation goals and objectives. That in itself won’t make dog parks happen. The idea still needs champions, which according to Sunday’s article seems to be happening. An online petition has even been created titled Traverse City Dog Park as well as an online survey.
Full disclosure, the two beagles shown above are with me. One couldn’t care less about meeting other dogs, however, the younger one’s head explodes in joy every-time she meets a new dog (you can tell which one, right?). For her, a small socializing park would be perfect. I emphasize small, because most dogs don’t need a lot of room to play with each other. We are blessed with a lot of open land in the region for running, but urban socializing opportunities for pets that we can walk to are lacking.
Not Just For The Dogs
Dog parks do more than provide for dogs. In fact, an arguably more important reason for a dog park is that it is a way for a community to increase social exchanges between people. It offers a place to gather, meet neighbors and offer an instant conversation piece between strangers. The dog parks I’ve visited were a lot less about the dogs than the pet owners care to admit. And, that is a positive thing. As Peter Harnik said for the Record Eagle story, “It’s got tremendous social value beyond taking your dog off the collar. It’s a social occasion for both dogs and people.” Harnik is the director of Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence.
So, in this household, four paws up, and the other four paws are off sniffing something. Needless to say, I’m still interested.
Have any MyWHaT readers thought about dog parks?
Have you had experience living near and using a dog park?
What are your thoughts?